Monday, April 2, 2012

Self Determination

I am not going to even pretend that I am the first person who said that self determination is important for sucess in life. But I can surely say from personal experience that if I did not have self determination and self-confidence, I would not be where I am now.  I am not in a very high level position, rich or a famous person. But I am comfortable in my life and in my own skin.  What is my measure of sucess for myself? I have a secure job, a lovely house, good health, good friends and so much more freedom than many people. 

I have had good experiences that I will cherish and also had the bad ones which sucked the life out of me.  The saying that "sticks and stones can break me but words will never hurt me" is really quite not true.  Not only do words hurt people but the lack of words, silence, can equally hurt people.  Also the saying that "time heals everything" - ehh! not really true.  One may heal in some ways but the scars are always there.  So in our own ways we need self determination to get through life's challenges.

For self determination one needs to have faith in something.  Keeping myself centered on that faith and believing in myself made  me ready for anything.   I may not be able to control the outcome of my decision, but I can control how I react to the outcome.  It takes a lot of self control and self determination to not always "react" to incidences.  Having faith in the fact that everything happens for reason, helps a little bit, especially when bad happens.

My faith in my own abilities and judgement made me stronger and self reliant.  After I started living by myself, 20 years ago I had to grow up.  My first time living alone for one year in Buffalo taught me some tough lessons in financial management (another time, another blog).  After that whatever decisions I took, good or bad, were mine to make and I was the one to face the consequences.  I kept the frame of mind that I was the only one responsible for my actions.  That way I could not blame anyone for my decisions and took full responsibility for them.  That made me a little lonely but stronger. Of course, now I understand that my decisions are not really mine to make - someone up there is making them for me.

Making a decision, especially big ones, have not been easy.  I have to make sure my values are well grounded, I have weighed the consequences and my intentions are good.  I will not be right all the time and I may also hurt people with my actions, but those decisions hurt me too because they are the hard ones to make.  (Sometimes in those cases other people are happy you took those decsions instead of them - so they are not held responsible.)

In any case I wish that people would:
  • believe in themselves,
  • be true to themselves,
  • be responsible for themselves,
  • take actions that are morally right (for most part) and 
  • not depend on other people all the time.

I have been called self-righteous and too independant, neither of which is true, well....maybe sometimes its true :-)  But I do like my independence and I do like to play fair. I am what I am - I am not pretentious. I am what we call in America - WYSIWYG.  And that comes from being honest with myself and the people around me.

This blog entry would be incomplete if I did not mention Gabbar Singh from the hit movie Sholay.  His dialogue "jo dar gaya samjho mar gaya." (He who is scared is dead), has been my motto for the past few years.  That dialogue has given me more self confidence than I can imagine.  Thank you Gabbar Singh!!

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